Jeremy Maclin (groin) was downgraded to out for Week 13 against the Falcons.
Maclin appeared on track to return after practicing on a limited basis all week and being listed as questionable on Friday. He was clearly not ready to go coming out of a long injury layoff, however, and did not even make the trip to Atlanta. With Maclin out, Tyreek Hill should once again serve as the No. 1 receiver in a great matchup. He is a WR3 with a ton of upside.
ESPN's Field Yates reports Patriots DT Alan Branch won his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.
Branch always appeared confident he would win the appeal, but it is still shocking to see him not only cleared but cleared this quickly. The Patriots will not complain, however. A solid run stuffer, New England's already struggling defense could not have afforded to be without Branch.
Steelers signed K Randy Bullock.
Bullock will likely handle the kicking duties this weekend after Chris Boswell was added to the injury report Saturday morning. Bullock connected on 2-of-3 extra point attempts in one game with the Giants earlier this season, but he has been on the street since Week 1. The Steelers might be even more likely to go for two against Bullock's former team this weekend. CB Al-Hajj Shabazz was cut in a corresponding move.
Ex-Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said he tried to convince Chip Kelly to return to the program when he (correctly) thought his job was in danger late in the season.
"When you start thinking of your assistants and all the support staff and all those people," Helfrich said, "if he were to come back here, some of those people would be saved." Kelly obviously declined, and he reiterated Wednesday he plans to remain the coach of the 49ers. Still, rumors of a Eugene return will not die down until Oregon fills the job.
ESPN's Mike Reiss expects the Patriots to use more three-receiver packages with Rob Gronkowski (back) sidelined.
With just Matt Lengel on the depth chart behind Martellus Bennett, the Patriots will have to rely more on the receivers. That should be great news for rookie Malcolm Mitchell, who has three touchdowns in the last two games but only played 47 percent of the snaps last week. That percentage will likely rise moving forward. Mitchell needs to be stashed in all formats until this situation shakes out.
ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan thinks the Giants could target Sterling Shepard early and often against the Steelers.
Shepard was not targeted last week against the Browns, an oversight Eli Manning apologized for after the game. Raanan points out Odell Beckham was forced targets against the Browns after a quiet game the previous week, and Victor Cruz saw seven targets, a season-high, in the game after he was held without a catch. Shepard should be funneled targets early against the Steelers, but he is still nothing more than a touchdown-dependent WR3.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thomas Rawls will "get the ball quite a bit" Week 13 against the Panthers.
Sore coming out of his first game action since Week 2, Rawls only saw 12 carries in the loss to the Bucs, although game flow was the biggest factor in his lack of touches. Seattle will hope for a better offensive performance at home against the Panthers this week, which will allow them to get Rawls more involved. Even in a very tough matchup, Rawls is a solid RB2.
Steelers added K Chris Boswell to the injury report as questionable with an abdomen injury.
It is unclear when Boswell suffered the injury. Late-week additions to the injury report are never good, and it is likely Pittsburgh adds a kicker on Saturday afternoon. Fantasy owners should look for safer options.